So you think you have met your knight in shining armour or your fairy princess and you are thinking about taking the relationship to the next step. Maybe this is in contemplating living together or maybe even to become married.
A question I was asked recently had to do with understanding what are the essentials for marriage and the first step required when planning to get married.
Here are my thoughts on this topic.
Often when people think about marrying them primarily think about the wedding day and how they can make this the most perfect day of their life, as it describes to be. Sometimes in focusing on the day however they lose sight of what's most important and that is what happens after the wedding day, regarding their future happiness and well-being, for the years to come.
Thankfully given the increasing divorce rate couples are becoming more and more aware of the importance of not only preparing for their wedding day but also of preparing for their married life. And thankfully now more than ever couples are turning to qualified professionals to help them prepare for what happens after the wedding vows have been made and they have danced the bridal waltz.
Love Will Conquer All
Most important among these lessons is shattering the belief that "love will conquer all" . It simply is not enough.
An Insurance Policy
As a Couples Counselor and Family Law Mediator I see on a daily basis the unfair that separation and divorce causes to couples and their families. But rather than having this scare you off listen to the stories that these people have to teach and learn the lessons well.
The single most critical thing that will prepare you for marriage and make your relationship last long term is the knowledge you have of yourself and the comfort you have with that knowledge closely followed by the knowledge you have of your partner and the comfort you have with that .
The simplest way to get this is to always be curious about who your partner is and, before pushing to have yourself heard, hear them. If you both can do this in love and good will and with respect and you will find a way through every challenge ever presented to you.
And if it's too difficult to manage this task on your own then seek help from someone qualified to help you do this and do this before it blows out.
People often think that counselors are there only for when we are in crisis. They're not. The principle roll of a Counselor is to teach you the skills that everyone needs to prepare them for and teach them what they need to manage their relationships.
These skills include how you communicate with each other, how you manage your conflict and how you manage the differences in your characters and ways of being.
You see every one of us comes from a different cultural background. That is our family. We have all grown up with a totally different experience from each other which directly influences our style of communicating with another as well as what we expect of each other. These differences will naturally cause conflict. It's what we do with that conflict that matters.
The more skilled we are the easier we will find our way out of the conflict and to a good resolution. And the earlier in our relationship we learn those skills the better as over time resentment can build and chip away at the loving foundation of your relationship.
We insure our cars against damage; we insure our homes against damage so why not insure our relationships against damage by taking the time, before going into a relationship, to prepare you for what might come and how best to deal with that.
The insurance is much cheaper than paying for the cost of a breakdown later on. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain.